Orthopedic device firm Zimmer Biomet today unveiled “Don’t Let Pain Gain on You,” a multimedia effort targeted at individuals who have postponed urgently needed joint replacement surgery during the pandemic. The campaign seeks to ease conversations around safely and conveniently going forward with the procedure, despite fears of enhanced risk of COVID infection.
Those fears have intimidated many Americans into postponing doctor’s appointments, in orthopedics and any number of other specialties. That caution is even more pronounced, however, when it comes to treatment events like elective surgery. As part of the campaign, Zimmer Biomet fielded a survey which found that 48% of individuals who needed joint-replacement surgery postponed it due to such fears.
While the survey also revealed that the vast majority of people (82%) who had this surgery during the pandemic said they felt safe to do so and 64% didn’t think they risked infection at their surgery site, almost two-thirds of patients (61%) who had waited more than a year to schedule surgery did so because of the pandemic. The repercussions of those delays were serious: 71% reported more joint pain, 58% more limited mobility and 35% more trouble sleeping.
Meanwhile, 83% of the people who had canceled joint surgery due to the pandemic – including the effect it would have on their recovery – didn’t know about virtual solutions to get support for post-operative care.
“For extra peace of mind, you can ask your physician about surgical options that can minimize time spent in a hospital, and about virtual communication tools which allow you to communicate virtually with your surgeon throughout the journey, pre- and post-surgery,” said Dr. Trevor Pickering, a hip and knee replacement specialist at the Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center.
These tools include Zimmer Biomet’s mymobility, a remote care management system that uses iPhone and Apple Watch to facilitate pre- and post-surgery care. It also compiles data on patient activity and post-operative progress, which it shares with their surgeons to minimize the risk of complications.
“The pandemic has escalated the need for high-touch, remote connections between patients and care providers,” said Ivan Tornos, Zimmer Biomet group president for global businesses and the Americas.
The company has also set up DontLetPainGain.com, which lets patients search for local surgeons by zip code, language and treatments offered. It also contains a range of content about surgical options and the use of telehealth and other virtual technologies. Indeed, one such article contains a list of suggested questions for patient/physician conversations, including ones about how the surgical facility fights the spread of COVID-19.